In this practice we take complaints very seriously indeed and try to ensure that all patients are pleased with their experience of our service. When patients complain, they are dealt with courteously and promptly so that the matter is resolved as quickly as possible.

This procedure is based on these objectives -

Our aim is to react to complaints in the way in which we would want our complaint about a service to be handled. We learn from every mistake that we make, and we respond to patients’ concerns in a caring and sensitive way. 

The person responsible for dealing with any complaint about the service we provide is Dr J Pirie.

If a patient complains on the telephone or at the reception desk, we will listen to his or her complaint and offer to refer him or her to Dr J Pirie immediately.

If Dr J Pirie is not available at the time, then the patient will be told when he or she will be able to talk to him and arrangements will be made for this to happen. The member of staff will take brief details of the complaint and pass them on. If we cannot arrange this within a reasonable period or if the patient does not wish to wait to discuss the matter, arrangements will be made for someone else to deal with it. 

If the patient complains in writing the letter will be passed on immediately to Dr J Pirie.

If a complaint is about any aspect of clinical care or associated charges it will normally be referred to the dentist who provided the treatment, unless the patient does not want this to happen.

We will acknowledge the patient’s complaint in writing and enclose a copy of this procedure as soon as possible, normally within two working days. We will seek to investigate the complaint within ten working days of the complaint being received to give an explanation of the circumstances which led to the complaint. If we are unable to investigate the complaint within ten working days we will notify the patient, giving reasons for the delay and a likely period within which the investigation will be completed.

We will confirm the decision about the complaint in writing to the patient immediately after completing our investigation. Proper and comprehensive reports are kept of any complaint received.

If this is a complaint regarding NHS dental treatment and you are not happy with the practice response to your complaint, you can contact the HSCB Complaints Officer at:

Health and Social Care Board,  

Complaints Office, 

12-22 Linenhall Street, 

HSC Board Headquarters, 

Belfast, BT2 8BS

Website: Health and Social Care Board

Tel: 028 9536 3893     Email: complaints.hscb@hscni.net

If you remain unhappy you can refer your complaint to the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO) who will look at your complaint and decide whether they should investigate it. NIPSO can be contacted at:

Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman,

Progressive House, 

33-37 Wellington Place,

Belfast, BT1 6HN       

Tel: 0800 343424

Complaints about private dental treatment, if not satisfied with the in-house process, should be referred to:

Dental Complaints Service

Stephenson House, 

2 Cherry Orchard Road,

Croydon, CRO 6BA       

Tel: 02082530800


This procedure should be followed if you are complaining on behalf of someone else. The rules of medical confidentiality will be adhered to if the complaint is received on behalf of someone else. A note signed by the person concerned will be required, unless they are incapable (e.g. because of illness) of providing this to allow the complaint to be investigated.


The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) is the independent body responsible for monitoring and inspecting the availability and quality of health and social care services in Northern Ireland, and encouraging improvements in the quality of those services.

RQIA does not investigate complaints. However, through their regulatory activities, they have an important role in ensuring all regulated services have an effective complaints procedure, take complaints seriously and investigate complaints thoroughly, in line with DHSSPS complaints guidelines. 

Further information can be obtained from:

Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA)

9th Floor Riverside Tower, 

5 Lanyon Place, 

Belfast, BT1 3BT 

(9am - 5pm Mon to Fri)

Tel: 028 9536 1111                             Email: info@rqia.org.uk